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When Tyler Adams took the field on Monday afternoon for the U.S. at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, he made history twice.
First, he became the youngest captain at this World Cup.
Second, and more significantly, he became the first Black player to captain the U.S. men’s team throughout any World Cup.
For a sport that oftentimes struggles with keeping Black talent, particularly in the U.S., and is hampered by racism globally, Adams’ title speaks volumes about the team and the man himself.
The team voted the 23-year-old as captain this fall, which wasn’t a total surprise. He had been named team captain nine times previously, but that was on a game-by-game basis.
This elevation is permanent for as long as the team plays in the World Cup.
Tyler Adams, a defensive midfielder, is a natural leader. The Wappinger Falls, NY native is fearless and puts his money where his mouth is.
In other words, he comes to play each and every time and expects the same from his teammates.
“I want to hold the guys around me to the same standard,” said Adams on Sunday. “I don’t want to lose and then have to point the finger and say, `you let me down today.’ I just want to make sure that everyone’s on the same page intensity-wise, mentality-wise, no frustration — we all buy into the same thing. And yeah, I think I’ve been doing that since a young age.”
A young age is right.
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